Aesthetic appearance, feel underfoot, and durability are the most common aspects homeowners consider when choosing a new flooring option. But how soundproof the flooring is shouldn't be overlooked. Certain materials can cause sound to seemingly echo throughout your house. Whether it be the clicking of your pet's nails or the pounding of your running children, quiet flooring options can help provide your home with more peace and quiet.

The Top Quiet Flooring Options

When considering hardwood flooring, its sound absorption abilities are based on Impact Insulation Class and the Noise Reduction Coefficient. A better impact insulation class (IIC) means vibrations travel less through the material, and it can absorb sounds better. Stone usually has the lowest rating, while carpet has the highest. Similarly, noise reduction coefficient (NRC) refers to how much the flooring absorbs sound instead of reflecting it, cutting down on ambient or background noise. A higher NRC rating reduces echoes, making it easier to hear conversations or television. With these properties in mind, here are the best sound-absorbing flooring options.

Carpet

Of course, carpet is the quietest flooring option homeowners can choose. It absorbs vibrations well and reduces reverberation, cutting down on direct impact noise and ambient sounds. Thanks to the individual fibers of the carpet and the underlay, carpeting is very effective at sound absorption. Standard carpets can offer 35% noise reduction, while some specific types, such as wool, can raise this number. Adding an underlay makes carpeting even better at noise reduction, allowing it to reduce environmental noise by up to 70%. Carpeting is available in a variety of pile heights, patterns, and colors. It is perfect for living spaces like the den or bedroom.

Laminate with an Attached Pad

An attached pad is a padded material adhered to the underside of laminate flooring planks. Installing laminate directly over the subfloor with no padding can cause echoes when items are dropped, or the floor is traversed. Pad-attached laminate flooring dampens sound, enhances stability, and makes the floor feel a bit softer underfoot. Laminate flooring colors and patterns have come a long way since its inception, and many stunning options are available, including laminate flooring that looks like real hardwood. Its durability makes it ideal for highly trafficked areas of your home, like the living room.

Vinyl with a Foam Backing

Vinyl flooring with a foam backing is similar to pad-attached laminate flooring. A flexible foam underlayment decreases sound transmission while also adding cushioning and thermal insulation. Various densities of foam backing are available on several gorgeous, high-quality vinyl flooring options, ranging from faux hardwood to flooring that resembles tile. Vinyl's water resistance makes it a perfect fit for kitchens or bathrooms.

Fitness Flooring

Fitness flooring is best suited to a home gym and is excellent at reducing noise. It's crafted from a dense rubber material that absorbs vibrations from high-impact activities like running on a treadmill or dropping weights. It's also very durable and slip-resistant, two other features that make it ideal for areas with a lot of wear and tear. Generally, fitness flooring is found as tiles or in a roll-out style. Unfortunately, it has fewer color and pattern options than other flooring options. Still, there is almost always a suitable choice for a homeowner's workout space.

Engineered Hardwoods

Real hardwood flooring isn't great at absorbing sound because its solid surface does little to prevent vibration transmission. However, engineered hardwood can more readily absorb sound. It's constructed with layers of hardwood and plywood, scrap wood, or wood fibers instead of a single solid layer. This makes engineered hardwood flooring much quieter than solid hardwoods, especially when paired with an underlayment. It can come in a variety of hues and is suitable for almost any room of the home.


Working with flooring experts can help you determine the best flooring solution for your home.

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